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History Research Guide

U. S. Public Health & Medicine History: Introduction

This guide will help you find published scholarship (essays, books, chapters, journal articles, etc.) and primary source material on a topic.

  • Choose a topic that interests you and fits within your assignment's parameters.
  • Read good summaries of the topic in subject encyclopedias, like those listed below, to gain a basic overview of your topic.
  • Search for published scholarship in library discovery systems, catalogs, databases, scholarly & research organizations, etc.
  • Identify primary source material (e. g. documents & records, art & artifacts, personal narratives & memoirs, data & statistics, maps & charts, photographs & illustrations, etc.) through your scholarly readings, and by searching or browsing the digital collections of libraries, archives, museums, and other scholarly & research organizations.

Remember to evaluate the accuracy of your sources, and think critically about their content and arguments.

For remote login to the Library's electronic resources, see our instructions for Off-Campus Access.

Remember to talk about your project with your instructor in the History Department!

U. S. Public Health & Medicine History: Reference Essays (from Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Web Guides)

Subject encyclopedias and other reference guides can provide good background information on a topic. Many reference books are in printed format, while others are available in electronic resource collections such as:

Gale eBooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library)

Oxford Reference

There are also several contemporary medical web guides that provide foundational information and definitions for health and illness.

Diseases and Conditions (Mayo Clinic)

MedlinePlus: Health Information for You (National Library of Medicine)

Merck Manual, Consumer Edition

WebMD: Health A-Z Guide - All Health Topics


Scholarly Books

Search for printed and electronic scholarly books at QC and other CUNY libraries.
Search for scholarly books in the national catalog for the United States and Canada. Includes holdings from libraries in other parts of the world, primarily European or English-speaking.

Scholarly Journal Articles (search Databases)

U. S. Public Health & Medicine History: 19th & 20th Century Periodicals